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Why Does My Smartphone Lag: Tricks To Speed It Up Again

Updated: September 10,2022

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Nobody likes it when their Android smartphone starts to feel slow and sluggish. Fortunately, getting your device back up to speed should be a pretty straightforward process.

There are many factors that can cause your Android smartphone to lag. Sometimes, unique specifications such as mobiles with removable batteries can complicate matters. We’ve listed the best-known culprits and all the basic fixes.

Android Performance Issues

Today’s smartphones are powerful mini computers that handle intensive workloads. However, we often forget how fragile the RAM, processor, and operating system are and how easy the entire software architecture can freeze. Here are the most common reasons for your phone running slow.

Garbage Collection

One of the causes of laggy Android devices is the structure of their operating system. It regularly performs a garbage collection process that recycles RAM when an Android app is closed. This complicated process requires a lot of memory. If there are any memory constraints, performance will suffer. As such, the more apps you keep open, the more severe the phone lagging gets.

Not Enough RAM

All of your apps, games, and operating systems rely on your device’s RAM to run properly. If they use more memory than your system can afford to give, your device may start experiencing lag, and some apps may even shut down.

Simply put, Android phone lagging is typically caused by too many games and apps being opened simultaneously or running in the background. Despite Android having mechanisms for effective memory management, these apps quickly gulp up the available RAM. Some apps might freeze, and you may also experience keyboard input lag.

Broken Applications

Some apps stop working because they aren’t updated regularly, are badly coded, or as a result of sideloading. Apps require frequent updates to fix any coding issues and other performance problems. Meanwhile, sideloaded apps that don’t come from Google Play are often inferior in terms of quality and faulty, which in turn causes system lagging.

No More Space

Whether you’re using a smartphone for seniors or a device that’s more popular with younger generations, insufficient storage space will slow down just about anything. If you start getting the “Storage Space Running Out” notifications, you’re probably experiencing phone stuttering. 

Storage issues can creep up on any mobile user and are typically caused by social media apps and archived images, videos, or files. And although manufacturers are constantly working to enlarge the storage space on newer smartphones, the modern user wants apps that need more space than ever before.

Demanding Apps and Games

Some applications and games require a ton of resources. An Android smartphone lag is guaranteed if you don’t have enough memory and space to satisfy these apps. 

Games are especially toxic and can cause the processor to heat up and slow down the entire device. Some children who use mobile devices also claim that apps like Google Family Link cause both lag and battery drain. But this can easily be avoided if you limit the number of social media apps on the child’s phone. 

Old Phone

Sometimes, the phone specifications are outdated, and lagging is unavoidable. That’s why newer models are constantly pushing out their older counterparts from the market. The lack of RAM, storage space, and powerful CPUs inevitably leads to Android being slow and laggy.

Memory Controller Feedback

When people ask what causes smartphone lag, they’re often surprised to hear about the importance of a memory controller. This system hardware part gets feedback regarding the availability of storage blocks. The data is then transferred to the Android operating system. However, in specific cases, this feedback communication is delayed or halted, which causes the system to lag as the memory controller waits for the feedback to pass it on to the system.

Speed Up Android Phones

If you’re trying to figure out how to reduce lag, you don’t need to be a software expert to implement a few simple solutions. Below you’ll find a few straightforward fixes for smartphones that are stuttering while you’re trying to enjoy your music or play your favorite games.

Clean Up Your RAM

If you want to have a smartphone with no lag, you can quickly check how much RAM you’re using with newer Android operating systems. Press the Settings button, select the Battery and device care tab, and hit the memory tab. From here, you can see the phone’s total RAM and how much you can clean up or the apps you can close.

For those with an older Android OS, starting from version 6, open the Setting menu, hit the About Phone option, followed by the Build Number tab. When you access the Developer options, press the Running Services tab to check the RAM usage to see how to make your phone less laggy. You can check which apps use memory the most and uninstall them if necessary.

Keep Your Apps Updated

App updates introduce new functionalities and fix old problems, some of which cause phone lags. Having them automatically updated is the best option, but if you have an app that still keeps causing problems, try to disable it or uninstall it. 

Hit the Settings button, then go to the Apps tab, select the app, and see if you have the option to disable it or uninstall it to ensure that you have a smartphone with the least lag. If you disable it, the app remains on your phone but is inactive. Of course, when you uninstall it, the app will be removed entirely from your smartphone. It’s important to note that the size of the device isn’t a factor when trying to get your phone back up to speed.

Updating the operating system is another maneuver that can yield significant results. To do this, open the Settings, select System, and open the System update tab. You’ll find this option under the Software Update or About us tabs in the Settings menu on newer Android versions.

To update a specific app, you’ll need to download and install them via Google Play. Open Google Play, and press the profile icon at the top-right corner if you’re experiencing smartphone lag delay in speech, among other issues. Press the Manage apps & devices button to update it.

Clean Up Storage and Cache

Head to the Settings menu and press the Storage & USB tab or the Apps tab to access the Internal Storage options. From here, you can see how much free space you have, switch bulkier apps for lighter versions, move them to an external SD card, move it to the cloud, disable it, or uninstall it.

Open the Settings menu to remove temporary files connected with cache and free up storage. From here, select the Apps menu, choose an app, and press Storage, followed by the Clear Cache function. Using antivirus software for Android is also recommended.

Remove the CPU Pressure

To check how much lag is acceptable for a smartphone, sometimes you can simply check the smartphone mask for excessive heat. A processor cannot function well under high temperatures. Try to cool the device for several minutes, which should reduce the lagging.

Restart and Reset

When you restart your phone, you are also freeing up RAM and thus removing any lag. Various smartphone models have different power buttons, so check with your device manufacturer or go over the manual online.

If all else fails, resetting everything back to factory mode should address smartphone game input lag or any other lagging. Simply access Settings and press About Phone or the Backup and Reset option. Here, you’ll find the feature to factory reset your phone.

No Slowdowns

Go through all the mentioned speed-up suggestions to get your phone working at maximum capacity. Only run the factory reset when absolutely necessary. 


How can I reduce lag?

The best way to do this is to avoid using too many resource-demanding games and apps.

How do I free up RAM on my Android phone?

Go to Settings and tap on Battery and Device Care/About phone to locate the RAM usage feature and start freeing up memory.

How can I speed up my mobile?

A lot of simultaneously opened apps cause smartphone lag. To prevent any glitches, simply reduce the number of opened apps, regularly update them, and frequently clean RAM, storage, and cache.

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While Damjan started his career in humanities, his interests quickly moved on to the tech and IT world. VPNs, antiviruses, firewalls, password managers - cybersecurity is what he knows best. When Damjan’s not losing hair over the dwindling of our collective sense of tech safety, you’ll find him looking for solace in 100-hour-long RPGs and rage-inducing MOBAs.

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